Archive for January 10th, 2022

A Marvelous Victory

GC Myers-  Viva Nox (The Vivid Night) sm

Viva Nox (The Vivid Night)– At the West End Gallery

We need hope. An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not being foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of competition and cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, it energizes us to act, and raises at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.

And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

— Howard Zinn, A Marvelous Victory

“The future is an infinite succession of presents” is quite a line from an essay, A Marvelous Victory, from the late Howard Zinn. It is one that we should hold in our minds at all times.,

The form and content of our future will most likely not result from some cataclysmic event in the far flung reaches of the time ahead.

No, our future world is being shaped each and every day in small steps. These small actions create tiny, almost imperceptible, shifts and changes that push our future world in one way or another. Some of these small actions force us towards a crueler and darker future while others based on those attributes highlighted by Zinn– compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness— push us towards one that is more inclusive and gentle.

More human. More livable.

This somewhat continues the thoughts from yesterday’s post. Like being a hero that looks out for others, to live each coming day in the succession of presents with compassion, sacrifice, courage, and kindness is a choice. It is the same choice, actually, because those are the attributes of real heroes.

It’s a pretty simple concept. Choosing to live each day with kindness and compassion moves the future of this world in a small but significant way.

Seems like a simple choice, right?

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